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Gator Hunter Says 13 Skins Illegally Seized

BATON ROUGE (CN) - A wild alligator hunter says federal agents seized 13 alligator skins from the taxidermy shop he hired to mount them, based on a sergeant's false claim that the skins had been smuggled.

Greg Dupont and his commercial alligator-hunting operation, Louisiana Hunters, has sued James D. Rhodes in the 19th District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish, alleging constitutional violations, invasion of privacy and defamation.

On March 13, 2008, agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services seized the skins based on unfounded allegations made by Rhodes, a sergeant for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the lawsuit claims.

Rhodes allegedly claimed the skins had been smuggled, even after he double-checked the licenses and tags at the taxidermy shop in Paulina, La.

Dupont demands just compensation for his loss. He is represented by G. Allen Walsh.

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